Overshare: Is a Facebook Job Board Really a Good Idea?
Remember that photo you posted of you in your bathing suit holding a beer? Just one of the many reasons why a Facebook job board might not be the greatest idea.
If you have been on any social media sites recently, chances are you have seen many responses to Facebook preparing to launch a job board. It seems many recruiters have varying opinions on this. I am not writing this blog to share the opinions of my peers, but rather to share my own so here it goes:
Like many recruiters, I use LinkedIn to reach out to people. LinkedIn allows for professionals to post a summation of their work history, education, and accomplishments, without the add-ons of seeing pictures of their sisters’ best friends giving birth or some exotic dinner they are serving. Unfortunately for Facebook users applying for jobs, the first thing a recruiter will do upon receiving a resume is check out the user’s profile. When someone applies via LinkedIn I go straight to his or her profile page — why would this be any different for Facebook? Like it or not, we are human beings. I personally don’t think my future boss or HR manager needs to see photos of me posing with my French Bulldog, Frankie. By allowing applicants to apply through Facebook we are now way past blurring the line between professional and personal.
I know what you did last summer
Cheesy? Yes. True? Yes. Think about your Facebook profile, including all the comments you posted, and those unflattering photos of you on the beach. Yes, that is now going to factor in on your applicancy. I can see the conversations between hiring managers now: “Well, she looks like a really good time, but can we trust her to build our sales team?” People who will choose to apply for roles via Facebook are going to need to think about taking down anything and everything that could be perceived as incriminating. Sounds paranoid, but people have been passed over for jobs for lesser offenses — trust me.
The talent I want is not perusing Facebook for a job
As I see it, there are a couple issues here. First, I typically spend my time looking for passive candidates. I wonder how it is going to go over when I am on Facebook all day looking for candidates who may want to join an expansion-stage company in our portfolio. It is going to be quite hard to cut through the personal information of people’s profiles to get to the meat of what I need to know. Second, it’s more likely that job postings and applications via Facebook won’t be specialized. For example, if I am hiring for software developers I am going to use a specialized job board like Dice, not Facebook, where anyone with an email address will apply.
If recruiting moves to Facebook perhaps most frightening to me is the notion that there will be relatively no distinguishing between professional and personal. I can only imagine it like the arguments over separation of church and state that have come before — it’s something we will never have closure on. My advice to those who choose to utilize Facebook as a recruiting tool is to be wary, and remember, your future boss may be viewing your Christmas party pictures.